When I was a kid

When I was a kid, in essays when we had to describe our country, a peaceful and tolerant multicultural country was always the default description. We would then go on to say how different races in the country were able to co-exist with our neighbours who are of a different skin colour than us, how we were tolerant of each other’s beliefs and how we celebrate our different cultures together.

Somewhere in the ten years that has since passed, something inevitably changed for the worse. Now, jokes that were fine ten years ago are considered racist. Now, politicians are making blatantly offensive racist statements but are supported for it rather than berated for it. Now, identifying one’s race might also be considered as racist depending on who you’re talking to.

I’m just so tired of all this. Tired of shit stirrers, especially in the political arena. Tired of the racist undertones in our laws and in our lives.

People say to stay and fight. Fight for our rights as citizens of the country. Fight for the country we were born in and grew up in. Fight for what was lost.

But tell me, where do I find the faith and strength to fight when despite the fact that I was born here and spent my whole life identifying this country as my home because I grew up here, I was constantly asked to go back to China? If I was unhappy about how things were going or if I questioned them, I was asked to migrate to somewhere else. Or to balik Tongsan as some parties like to constantly say.

Yes, I am a Chinese. I am also a Malaysian. I was not brought up to believe that these two are mutually exclusive. However, judging by the state of things nowadays, I’d have to say it sure looks like it is.

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